In the wake of the violent attacks in Marawi, Cotabato, and other parts of Mindanao and Visayas, the provincial government now focuses mainly on prevention through education. The program currently targets the youth as the primary recipients of the campaign as they are the most vulnerable sector to radical influences due to peer pressure and the burgeoning social media. The provincial government is also looking at expanding the campaign to other sectors such as the women sector, being recognized for their role in upholding values in the family; the Indigenous Peoples’ Community; and the Jama’ah (Muslim community in a barangay or sitio) as a strong institution with direct influence on its members. The datu and imam, who lead the 122 Jama’ah all over the province, are considered among the key actors to propagate the campaign to their communities.
Overall Datu of the City of Mati, Nestor Vicente, lauded the campaign thrusting to end violence by addressing the root causes of violence which are twisted ideologies. The campaign also aims at breaking the notion of Muslims being associated with violence and extremism. He urged everyone to be vigilant by reporting to the authorities all suspicious elements lurking in their community. (Karen Lou Deloso)